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Tales from a Plant Addict

Fun (& a few serious) facts, tips and tricks for every gardener, new and old.

American Persimmon

I grew up not really knowing what a persimmon was. We had plum, apple, and pear trees in our yard, but no one I knew had a persimmon tree. I first heard about persimmons my first year of graduate school, when Channel 3's Judy Fraser reported that she found lots of "spoons" in the persimmons, so be prepared for lots of snow in the coming winter. I had absolutely no idea what she was talking abou...

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Rain Gardens

A relatively new method to deal with storm water that seems to be gaining steam as a new "garden trend" is rain gardening. In a nutshell, a residential rain garden is a depression in the landscape that is planted with native plants that tolerate wet soil, and is positioned to collect rainwater as it flows from downspouts and across lawns, patios and driveways. Some people wrongly assum...

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When it comes to garlic, it seems like there are two extremes in people's opinions–they either love it or they hate it. A couple of years ago I was in California with my family, touring the length of the state on the way to my cousin's wedding. During our trip we passed through Gilroy, California, the self-pr...

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Chile Peppers

Language is a funny thing. Mention chile peppers, and many people assume you are talking about some burning hot pepper that only a mouth made of steel can tolerate. Technically speaking, the term "chile" includes all the fruits we call peppers, even those that are not considered "hot", like bell and banana peppers. Apparently the confusion stems from Christopher Col...

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Basil-- Ocimum basilicum

Besides vine-ripened tomatoes, my favorite produce harvested from my garden each summer is fresh basil. The spicy sweet fragrance is no comparison to the faded scent of dried versions. Basil is an ancient herb that has many legends attached to it. Legend links basil to just about any emotion or feeling imaginable–love and hate, pain and pleasure, basil has been associated with all...

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